Brophy Dale
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Brophy Dale


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"GUITAR PLAYER ... January 2008"

Brophy Dale says that when he first picked up a 6-string over 30 years ago, the notion that playing would evolve from a passion to a profession seemed like mere folly. But not only has Dale parlayed playing into a full-time gig, he’s garnered raves from some of roots music’s most celebrated creators, and shared the stage with a few of them, including O.V. Wright, Smokey Wilson, Dave Edmunds, and Delbert McClinton. Dale’s main gig for the past decade, however, has been with Stray Cats alumnus, bassist Lee Rocker—an alliance that has showcased Dale’s versatile guitar playing before audiences worldwide, and also introduced him as a songwriter. Dale has shared writing credits with Rocker on songs from the band’s last five studio albums, including its latest, Black Cat Bone [Alligator], on which the pair penned “The Wall of Death,” inspired by the cult motorcycle-racing sideshow.

The Texas-born guitarist traveled throughout Africa during his early years, spent time in the Motor City, and finally settled in Southern California in the late ’80s, where his musical career finally gelled. Dale landed his gig as second guitarist for Rocker in 1997, on first guitarist and friend Mike Eldred’s recommendation. After Eldred left, a succession of players followed, including Adrian Demain, Tara Novick, and currently Buzz Campbell—but Dale has been the band’s mainstay. “Lee wanted a Tele player when he added a second guitarist,” he explains, “to create textures and play off the big-box guitar.”

Throughout his tenure with Rocker, Dale’s go-to guitar has been a one-off built for him by luthier Chris Fleming prior to his joining Fender’s illustrious Custom Shop team. The Tele-inspired instrument has a chambered mahogany body, a tilted neck and headstock, and is outfitted with TV Jones TV Classic Filter’Tron-style pickups and a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. Dale plays slide on a Masonite Silvertone with lipstick-tube pickups, and has also recently added a Trussart SteelCaster to his arsenal. His main amp is a ’65 Fender Super Reverb, which he laughs, “adds nice, natural textures besides the basic reverse and tremble.”

Whether it’s playing with Rocker, or fronting his own power trio, Dale packs a potent blend of rock, country, blues, R&B, and rockabilly riffs—plus a distinctive slide style and tone. And, according to former Elvis sideman Scotty Moore, that’s not all. “Scotty says everybody has something they bring to a band, and I bring the soul,” enthuses Dale. “How cool is that? I mean, he’s one of the guys who invented rock & roll. We played a show with him in Memphis for the 25th anniversary of Elvis’ death, and after playing a solo I looked up to see Paul Burlison in front clapping. Lee told me later that Scotty said to him, ‘That’s my son!’"
- Diane Gershuny

"BLUES REVUE - December/January 2009"

BROPHY DALE - Night Hawkin'

It's a no brainer that good performances and strong material are crucial to an album's success, but track sequencing
is just as important. Nobody wants to hear a dozen songs that sound the same. Yet record companies keep releasing
CDs bloated with repetitious filler. No wonder iPod users buy only the tracks they want and vinyl fans are psyched for 30-minute LPs: Less is more.

Detroit-raised, Southern California-based guitarist Brophy Dale keeps things succinct on his first solo album; there's not a redundant track in this 49-minute variety pack. The opening song, 'All Tore Up,' provides a fast connection for those who know Dale's fretwork with Lee Rocker's band, but it's only the beginning of a tour-de-force trip. Rather than staying with the expected (namely, more rootsy rockabilly), Dale and his band - drummer Dave Kida (of Rod Piazza's Mighty Flyers) and bassist Dave Gore - ease the pace for a bouncy remake of Johnny Otis' 'Sittin' n' Rockin' ' before re-cranking the amps for the blistering original 'Oh Babe.' They cut back the voltage again for
'I Dunno,' a moody, pretty instrumental that wouldn't sound out of place on a Peter Green album.

Dale plays slide on the New Orleans-flavored Dave Bartholomew/Chris Kenner tune ' 'Cha Gonna Do' before going vintage roadhouse country on 'Gone To Long.' Jeff Turmes lends sax tho the disc's blistered-fingers centerpiece, 'Key Thang.' The set also includes two more instrumentals as well as a swamp-rocker that steams like a summer night on Lake Charles, an amphetamine-fueled rockabilly number, a Lonnie Mack cover, and an album closer with Dale on lap steel that conjures images of couples dancing in a wartime bar in Hawaii. The playing, singing and writing on Night Hawkin' are as cutting-edge as an X-Acto knife and the disc's varied sequencing makes it one of the most unexpected pleasures of 2008.
- Bill Wasserzieher

- Bill Wasserzieher


Blues and Rhythum magazine...Phil Wight

BROPHY DALE: Night Hawkin'
Rimba Records BD 007 (48:50)
Brophy Dale has gained a big reputation for his bluesy, roots-rockin' guitar and vocals. He honed his pickin' style in the Detroit area in numerous rock, r&b, blues and country bands. Moving to California in the late 1980s, he gigged with a bunch of the heavy hitters on the southern California blues circuit, including the late Robert Lucas, Smokey Wilson and King Ernest, as well as Delbert McClinton and Scotty Moore.
For the last ten years Brophy has worked and recorded with rockabilly/Americana artist Lee Rocker, who came to fame in the 1980s as bassist for the Stray Cats. This is Brophy Dale's debut recording as a solo artist.
Dale penned seven of the thirteen tunes on board, also included are songs by Johnny Otis, Bartholomew and Kenner, Garlow and Shuler, and Mack Vickery. Opening with a thunderous romp through Delone and Eschlimann's 'All Tore Up', next up is 'Sittin' N' Rockin'', a sweet blues performance with a perfectly formed guitar solo, not a note out of place! Big nods to drummer Dave Kida on this one. 'Cha Gonna Do' is straight out of New Orleans, allied to a nasty swampy slide lick.
With twangy guitars, 'Gone Too Long' is a nifty country song, 'Key Thang', with its rasping, swirling tenor sax from Jeff Turmes, is the kind of rootsy instrumental that you wished the Shadows would have played! Now, I know it's not an instrumental, but you get the picture! Dale slides into rumba mode on Garlow and Shuler's 'Sound The Bell', evokes those big instrumental sides from several decades back on 'Boogalooin'', and hauls off an instant rockabilly classic on 'Meat Man'. The closing cut, 'You Get What You Pay For', is a relaxed Hawaiian steel guitar instrumental.
'Night Hawkin'' is definitely an album for guitar buffs with an appreciation of the various stylistic elements on offer, and who dig tight musicianship, but definitely not for the stone blues freaks. However I have to say I liked it a lot, one of the pleasanter surprises of 2009 so far. - Phil Wight


CD Review in Rootstime

"Dave Edmunds meets Albert
Collins meets ..Steve.. Cropper meets Lowell George" stands in the press folder that accompanies
this CD, and that's not so crazy. This
roots rockin' guitarist out of ..Southern California.. has what has made stages everywhere
in the world unsafe. His first meaningful
work as a guitarist came at the side of the Soul legend O.V. Wright, afterwards
came Robert Lucas of the band Canned Heat, then Smokey Wilson and Joe
Houston. In the meantime he got a chance
to work with some of his heroes such as Dave Edmunds, Paul Rogers, Delbert
McClinton and Scotty Moore, but for the last ten years he has been found as a
guitarist mostly alongside Lee Rocker. My
attention was continuously grabbed by his razor sharp solos and in particular by
his slide interventions. When he was yet
but a name on a record sleeve there was already something there that intrigued
me. It took a while before this outstanding
guitarist could stand on his own legs, but in addition to his talents as a string-wonder,
he also began to appear as a deserving song-writer and singer. Seven of the thirteen numbers come from his
own hand, and diverse is the key word here.
It begins with "Good Old Rock 'n' Roll" in typical Edmunds
style. In "All Tore Up" or the
wonderful "Sittin' 'n' Rockin'", written by Johnny Otis, a quality combo
of strong songs, outstanding song presentations and incisive guitar work move
things along. The pure blues shuffle
"Oh Babe" is the first of his own compositions. By each number his voice strongly makes me
think of that of Tom Principato. Using
his slide Brophy Dale also brings in genuine ....Louisiana.... rhythms through the Dave
Bartholomew written "'Cha Gonna Do?"
With the necessary twang he provides the required rockabilly feel to his
song "Gone Too Long" and the rumble in "Key Thang". There are also strong comparisons over the
whole line with the sounds that we've heard on Lonnie Mack records, one of
whose best songs is outstandingly covered here: "Satisfy Suzy". The title song is the ....high point.... for us, a slow slide blues totally
in the tradition of Earl Hooker, one of the most under-appreciated slide
guitarists [lapsliders]. Pure rockabilly
is trumps in "Meat Man", a model song of his boss's at the time of
the Stray Cats. As a closer the
"lap steel" goes on a ..Pacific Ocean.. tour in the Hawaiian tinted,
atmospheric sounding "You Get What You Pay For". Says I, "diverse is the key
word"? Could be an understatement
for this anthology of Brophy Dale's. As
a trifling extra, the live shows are exciting and magnetic. That can I best believe as I listen to this
CD..... -



"Night Hawkin' " Brophy Dale
Rimba Records ... 2008

“Black Cat Bone” Lee Rocker
Alligator Records … 2007

“Racin’ The Devil” Lee Rocker
Alligator Records … 2006

“Burnin’ Love…the Best of Lee Rocker”
Lee Rocker
Hypertetion-Music … 2004

“Bulletproof” Lee Rocker
33rd Street Records … 2003

“Upright & Kickin” Lee Rocker
Raucous Records ... 2002

“Blue Suede Nights” Lee Rocker
Hypertesion ... 2001

“New Coat Of Paint” Songs of Tom Waits
Various Artists, Title cut with Lee Rocker
Manifesto Records ... 2000

“Lee Rocker Live” Lee Rocker
J-Bird Records ... 1999

“Live at the Hootenanny” Volume 1
Various Artists ...
"Rumblin Bass" ... LeeRocker
Timebomb Recordings, 2000

“Hootenanny, The Best Of 1998” Compilation
“Love Me Good” ... Lee Rocker
Foil Records, 1998



Dave Edmunds meets Albert Collins meets Steve
Cropper meets Lowell George...

“Whether it’s playing with Lee Rocker and others, or fronting his own bands, Brophy brings an ideal blend of rock, country, blues, R&B, and rockabilly riffs—plus a distinctive slide style and tone.” —Guitar Player magazine, January 2008

“Everybody has something they bring to a band, and Brophy brings the soul”
—guitarist Scotty Moore

"One of the unexpected pleasures of 2008"
-Blues Revue magazine, Dec/Jan 2009

Brophy Dale has gained a widespread respect for his passionate roots-rockin’ guitar and vocals. He's played all over the world, from Moscow to Melbourn, Anchorage to Zurich. lived in Texas to Africa, but now calls Southern California home. He honed his guitar chops in the Midwest, mostly Ann Arobor/Detriot area in countless Rock, R’n B, Blues, Oldies, and Country bands that set him on a journey and has taken him from local bar guitar hero to an international reconized performer. Brophy’s first big moment came when he got to backup the late great Memphis soul singer, O.V.Wright (Nickel and a Nail) for a few gigs. Moving out West in the late 80s, Brophy worked/toured with Robert Lucas of Canned Heat, Smokey Wilson, Joe Houston, & King Ernest to name a few, on the Southern California blues scene. He's also had the opportunity to work with some of his heroes, which include Dave Edmunds, Delbert McClinton and a few tours with Scotty Moore. The last ten years Brophy has worked steadily with Alligator recording artist Lee Rocker, a Rockabilly/Americana cat who came to fame in the '80s as bassist for the wildly popular Stray Cats. He's recorded six records, with co-writes on the last three and been on several compolation records with Lee also. Brophy’s playing can be heard and on sound tracks for Kids ESPN in Japan to placement on TV shows with Lee, Numbers and the WB show Supernatural.

Now, hot off the presses comes Dale’s first outing as a solo artist, Night Hawkin', which aptly showcases his talents as a guitarist, song writer and vocalist. Brophy wrote seven of the thirteen tunes and shows off his signature blend of good-time roots rockin blues-a-billy playin’ and tones plus a distinctive slide style. There’s a good variety of feels—from the ‘Nawlins second line, “‘Cha Gonna Do”, to the more rockin’ rumba of “Sound The Bell”, to the cool lap-wailian steel tune, “You Get What You Pay For”. There’s a nice dose of blues with the shufflin’ “Oh Babe”, the butt rockin’, “Sittin’ n’ Rockin’. and of course that Texas grind with “Satisfy Suzie”. The title cut, “Night Hawkin’”, is a killer slow blues slide, in the Mick Taylor/Lowell George tradition. “Key Thang” is as close as he gets to the Stones with his wall-of-guitar sounds. “All Tore Up”, a flat out roots rocker, and “Meat Man”, more of a straight rock-a-billy are both already in rotation on Lee Rocker's XM Satellite radio show, "Rumble and Twang". The album highlights the excitement and power of a Brophy Dale live performance, which has a reptation for tight musicianship, a magnetic stage presence, and “having a helluva good time!”